Maldives Police Service has stated that the suspects arrested in connection to the IED attack targeting Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed on May 6 have no direct links to the terrorist organization, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
A homemade remote-controlled IED was strapped to a motorcycle parked nearby Nasheed’s residence and was detonated at 08:27 pm on May 6, just as Nasheed, 54, exited his residence and went to get in his car. Nasheed was thrown to the ground and sustained multiple shrapnel injuries.
He was rushed to ADK Hospital, where he underwent multiple life-saving surgeries to remove ball bearings and other shrapnel, some of which perforated his internal organs. Nasheed is currently undergoing further treatment in the UK.
Police said they have made total of 10 arrests in connection to the case, including people involved in planning and executing the attack.
Identities of six of the suspects were released for the first time on Saturday, during a press conference. They are:
Police have previously disclosed the identities of four suspects arrested in the case; Ahmed Adhuham Rasheed, 26, Hiyaa, GDh. Thinadhoo; Mujaz Ahmed, 21, Ma. Feyruge, K. Male’; Thahmeen Ahmed, 32, Folheyma, GA. Kondey; and Ahmed Fathih, 23, Dhunfini Ufaa, L. Gan.
During this press conference, Assistant Commissioner of Police Mohamed Riyaz stated that the investigation at this point does not directly link the suspects to ISIS.
“The findings from our investigation do show that the suspects do follow the ideologies maintained by ISIS – and even has actively taken part in spreading this ideology. They also wish to present themselves as people who aid ISIS,” Riyaz had said.
Nevertheless, Riyaz added that there are no solid grounds for the Police to believe that the suspects have a direct connection to ISIS or any other international groups – and that they were acting as a ‘cell’ of such an organization, under their direction.
Riyaz also added that they had recovered items from suspects which indicate they follow the ideologies of ISIS – but could not directly link them to the organization as members.
While the Police have denied any connection of the suspects to ISIS, Nasheed has previously alleged that they were linked to the terror organization.
SUSPECTS WERE RECEIVING INCOME SUPPORT, BUT AGAINST BEING SALARIED GOVERNMENT WORKERS
In Saturday's press conference, Riyaz also stated that suspects believed that government-provided salary was ‘haram’ – but nevertheless, had requested for income support allowance issued by the government.
They had also worked to convince friends who were salaried government workers to resign from their respective positions.
“While they tried to portray such beliefs, some of these suspects make use of government provide finances for their personal needs. In this regard, there have been some who have been receiving income support allowance from the government – or even financial assistance from government bodies such as NSPA. Moreover, they had made requests for such financial assistance through falsified documents,” Riyaz had said.
Riyaz further added that while the suspects had supposedly maintained such beliefs – they had failed to act on it even though they were actively working to enforce their beliefs on other people through various means.